Four Great Revolutions in Philosophy

Topics: Buddhism, Gautama Buddha, Noble Eightfold Path Pages: 4 (1313 words) Published: April 29, 2004
Throughout the history of the universe, there have been revolutions that shaped the history of the world. However, none have had such a great impact as the four great revolutions in thought and religion. Included, are the philosophy of China, religion in India, religion of the Jews, and Greek Philosophy. They all have many things in common, but each are unique as well.

The four great revolutions occurred in or near original river valley systems, and they were all born through a crisis. Each of the reformations is responsible for much of the cultural history of the world, because once the cultural pattern was set, it endured. Finally, it all began when people started to question their existence.

When the, relatively speaking, "modern" philosophy of the east was created, China was going through a crisis. New territorial states were replacing the traditional city-states. Peasant armies with new technology were replacing old nobility. The old etiquette and old rituals were crumbling. People yearned for a new, peaceful society. Thus, Confucianism was born.

Confucius was born in 551 BCE in northeast China. He was educated and was a member of the lower-nobility. When Confucius was young, his father died, so he knew what it was like to be without. Confucius didn't believe in an afterlife, and in the Analects, he was quoted as saying, "How can you understand death if you cannot understand life?"

Later in life, he became a traveling teacher, trying to persuade rulers to buy his ideas to return society back to the times of the Chou Dynasty, where everyone in society had a role to play. These roles consisted of five relationships: Ruler to subject, father to son, husband to wife, older brother to younger brother, and friend to friend. Confucius believed that if everyone stood to their position, society would be in harmony. However, when the well-being of a society depends on individuals living up to their responsibilities, things can go wrong fairly quickly....
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